Selling candles is one of the many side hustles you can do at home. Who knows? Maybe you can even turn it into a lucrative full-time gig if you become successful enough. It’s a high demand item that’s fairly easy to sell online. Plus, it’s very cheap to get started. What’s not to love?
Whatever the reason may be if you want to jump into the candle world, I wanted to create a guide to help you succeed. Whether you want to make $25, $200 or maybe $10,000 a month, applying these tips can hopefully help reach your goal.
In this guide, I will talk about the many resources that will show you how to make candles as well as where you can go to start selling your candles. Consider it as a simplistic guide to help you succeed.
So, if you like the idea of making candles and making money, then let’s jump in and see how it can be done.
What Kind of Candles Can I Sell? [The Best Selling Candles]
If you search Etsy or Amazon, two of the larger eCommerce companies online, you will find that thousands of candles sell online. From candles being purchased solely for home decorations to aromatherapy, people use candles for a variety of reasons. So, what I’m trying to say here is that you need to know what kind of candles you want to sell before you even consider opening up your own shop.
In the candle world, I will break down the many candles you can sell, leaving it up to you to figure out which one makes sense to you. If you want to sell all of them, great, but it’s generally best to focus on one niche.
Here’s what you often find online that sell well:
As the name implies, your decorative candles are just that — decorative.
These candles are used to decorate a space, and in some cases, those who buy them won’t even light them.
So, if you were interested in creating a decorative candle, it would be more about the looks rather than its use.
To get design inspirations, I highly recommend you check out Pinterest, Amazon or even Instagram. Here, you will find many designs, colors and even shapes. While you don’t have to copy, per se, you can at least get some ideas to maybe create your look.
Scented candles can be used for a variety of reasons, from using it for strictly scent purposes to aromatherapy, which is known to help soothe the mind and soul.
If you choose a scented candle, some of the more popular fragrances include lavender, peach, vanilla, and sandalwood, to name a few. If going the aromatherapy route, then these candle makers will add essential oils of sorts. There are many more scents than these mentioned. Usually, a quick search can give you an idea to which hot selling scents are out there.
If you do choose to go the scented route, just be sure to know how you will get your scents. Don’t worry, however, as these scents, such as the essential oils, are readily available online and at your local craft store.
Unlike the traditional candles, which are made from oil or beeswax, soy candles, as the name implies, are made from soy. These tend to be the highest in demand since they are deemed to be better in quality. Plus, they are made from better ingredients.
If you were to make soy candles, most buyers do so to burn them since they don’t omit a toxic-like smell. They also don’t ruin your walls.
Soy candles are better for your health and produces 90 percent less soot than that of paraffin. In turn, this helps reduce the amount of air pollution.
NOTE: These are the top three options on the market, but there are other options as well, including tapered, church and pillar. Not all candles are suitable for selling online.
The Ingredients Needed
No matter which candles you plan on making, the ingredients tend to be the same. Candle making is a very straightforward process and isn’t that hard to make. And, if you don’t know how to do it, I will leave that up to the many YouTube tutorials or refer you to the great low-cost candle making tutorials on Udemy. Take the time to watch these videos before you jump in and buy the ingredients. Like a food recipe, your ingredients can and will vary.
No matter which video/recipe you follow, this is what you will need most of the time:
- Wax: Depending on the candle type, you will need some sort of wax, whether it be soy, paraffin, or beeswax. On Amazon, for instance, you can buy your wax in bulk or you can even purchase as a kit, which will include most of which I mention here.
- Wicks: Not all wicks are created equal, but you will need a wick, of course, to keep the flame burning. In the wick world, you can purchase by size, usually varying from small to large. It’s best to choose a wick size based on the diameter of your candle.
- Fragrance: As mentioned in our candle types, your fragrance, much like the wax, will be needed only if you plan on adding a scent. Most candle makers use essential oil as their fragrance of choice.
See, there really isn’t much in terms of ingredients, but if you’re starting for the first time, you will need the necessary supplies to successfully make a candle.
- Double Boiler: While you can use your kitchen pots to make a candle, experts highly recommend using a double boiler as these are set up to create the perfect vessel to create a candle. And, don’t worry, they aren’t expensive, either, as a good double boiler will only set you back $20 to $30.
- Thermometer: A thermometer is highly recommended to keep tabs on the process as you will need to add your fragrances at a certain time.
- Glass Container: After you make the candle, you will need something to place it, usually it being a glass container of sorts. This is where you can be creative in terms of sizes and colors. Like the candle, the world is endless. Whether you want to create your own if you have the glass-blowing skills or purchase premade, it must be made of glass so that it can withstand the heat.
Where to Sell Candles Online
So, the thought of selling candles is appealing. Great!
You could make the greatest candles in the world, but if you don’t know where to sell them, what good is it to invest your time in making them?
There are a ton of places where you can sell your homemade candles, but only a few that will drive the traffic necessary to get you sales. Here they are:
Hands down, Etsy is one of your better options if you’re making anything homemade. Yes, including candles.
While you will still have to market your Etsy store, you can instantly put your products in front of tens of thousands of searchers almost instantly.
It’s only $0.20~ per listing, but like many stores online, you do have to pay a commission once your product does sell. At the time of writing this, you will pay a transaction and shipping fee, which can be north of 5%+.
Aside from Etsy, there are many alternatives, many of which I have covered in the past. While these alternatives may seem great, keep in mind that Etsy is the leader in the handmade space.
For now, I do recommend the very popular Etsy book, Etsy-preneurship: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Handmade Hobby into a Thriving Business.
- Website: Etsy
Yes, you can use Amazon to sell your candles. In fact, you can use what’s known as the FBA, otherwise known as Fulfillment by Amazon. This is the process where you send your candles off to Amazon so that customers can take advantage of Prime shipping. This is optional, however. I just mention it since Prime members are likelier to purchase from a Prime listing rather than one that’s not.
Now, if you do go the FBA route, it’s a lot harder than just creating a candle in your kitchen and shipping it off. You will need to create a UPC, packaging as well as a business name. There’s a lot to it!
Amazon FBA deserves its own book since there’s so much to absorb, so I will leave it up to one of my favorite courses on Udemy.
- Website: Amazon FBA
eBay is another option, but what you may find out is that your bidders/buyers will only purchase from well-known brands. This doesn’t mean you can’t succeed, however.
If you want to sell on eBay, it’s very important that you have positive feedback and a price that’s aggressive to that of your competitors. What I would do is take a look at the candles you want to sell and see what other sellers are doing. Be sure to filter out your results so that you’re only looking at the most recently sold items to see what has sold.
With eBay, you can get started almost immediately, but there’s a lot of competition, especially if you’re selling a handmade good.
- Website: eBay
Your local Facebook Marketplace could be a wonderful option if you want to treat your candle making as a side hobby. If you’re going to be serious, I think it would be better to invest in your own online store so that customers can keep coming back to you in case they want to buy more.
To list your candles on the Facebook Marketplace, it only takes a Facebook account and a few minutes of your time. And, don’t worry, if you don’t know how to list your items, I covered it for you in my Facebook garage sale post.
Listing on Facebook Marketplace is free, and again, is highly recommended if you only want to sell your candles on occasions.
- Website: Facebook Marketplace
Your Own Online Store
You don’t always have to use a platform to sell your candles as you can create your own online store using your very own domain. And, trust me, it’s not as hard as you think.
From using platforms like the very popular Shopify to one of the many shopping cart plugins, it isn’t hard to set up at all.
In going this route, you’re in control. You get to control your listings, you get to have your own domain and even use your customer to your advantage as you can continue to email them well into the future, even after the sale completes.
Starting your own online store can take some time to see the results, but it can pay off in the long once you start to rank for terms and market appropriately.
This is yet another topic that deserve its own book, so for now, I will link you to some of the more popular courses on Udemy to help you jump start your online store career.
Instagram can be a great option as well, but like creating your own online store, it will take some time before you see things take off.
The great thing about candles is that they are visual, so this is where Instagram can come in handy. Learn how to market using hashtags as well as figure out how to gain followed. No matter which platform you choose to sell your candles, be sure to link to your store as well.
If you’re targeting the right demographic, you may be amazed as to how many candles you can sell.
Again, it’s another topic that I could babble about forever. If you want to explode your Instagram growth and see the sales roll in, there are many video courses on Udemy that can show you how to gain 40,000 followers in as little as 4 months!
Aside from selling online, don’t forget about the real world!
Selling locally can be just as lucrative as your online options in some cases, depending on the event you choose. Plus, in selling in person, people can actually touch and smell your candle, something buyers can’t do online. This can be a huge perk.
As long as you’re a people person, consider selling at your local farmers markets or a craft fair/festival.
To find a local farmers market, the USDA has a search engine tool you can use. If you don’t mind traveling, you could sell almost every day if you choose since farmers’ markets happen throughout the week everywhere. As for festivals, use the Festivalnet.com search tool to see what kind of events are coming up. Just be sure to research well ahead of time as you will need to apply to become a vendor, usually months before the events start.
Direct Sales Candle Companies
Well, what happens if you don’t want to make your own candles, but you like the idea of selling candles.
You’re in luck as many direct sales companies will provide you with the candles and leave it up to you to market. Plus, some of these companies will pay you to recruit others to sell these candles as well. Known as MLMs, I’m not a big fan of them, but I wanted to list them here just in case you were interested in just selling, not making.
PartyLite is a global retailer, selling in more than 20+ countries as I write this. They are said to be the biggest seller of candles as well as home fragrance products.
To start selling, you will need to buy a starter kit, which tends to start at $99. As you continue to sell, you can continue to add to your kit.
As a consultant, you can earn up to 32% in commission on your sales and about 7% on any sales your team makes.
- Website: PartyLite
While they have candles in the name, they sell much more than just that. They have bath bombs and melting tarts, to name a few.
The unique thing about these candles is that there’s a piece of jewelry inside once the candle melts, with some jewelry worth thousands. It’s almost like one of those egg toys for kids, where you never know what’s inside. Values range from $10 to $7,000+. As a seller, you get to select the jewelry type and size.
As a seller, you can earn a 20% commission on your sales and no quotas are needed to stay active.
- Website: JewelryCandles.com
Pink Zebra is unique in that you add “wax sprinkles” which will then melt in a warmer to create your candle. As a seller, you get to mix and match the combinations.
When you sign up, you can choose which kit you want to use to start selling. And, depending on which one you choose, prices can start at $59 but go up to $199+. It’s up to you to decide which one you want as they all vary.
For every sale you complete, you can earn 25 to 35% of the sale. You can also earn part of the sales if you recruit people on your team.
- Website: Pink Zebra
Out of all the companies I list in this category, I would say Scentsy is one of the more popular names.
Scentsy mainly sells wax tarts and warmers, but they have other products as well.
As a popular MLM, you will need to purchase a kit, which can retail for about $99. But, the downfall is that you have to pay $10 a month to keep your website active. Again, I’m not a fan of MLM schemes and don’t push them, but I just wanted to include these options.
As a seller, you can make 20% per sale.
- Website: Scentsy
Can You Make Money Selling Candles?
So, in the end, this is the question. How much money can you make from a candle business?
Well, it’s hard to say.
How much you make greatly depends on how much effort you put into it. But, let it be known that selling candles online is one of the bigger markets. With almost 70% of homes with a candle inside, there’s always room for new sellers!
Typically, you can make about $10 to $20~ per candle. With materials being cheap, you’re paying for your time.
If you plan on creating your own storefront and then optimizing it for the right keywords, then anything is possible. If you just post a few candles on Facebook and that’s it, then, your cash flow will be limited.
I know you want a definite answer, but it depends on your marketing strategy and understanding how to create the perfect candle. You can sell anything online; you just need the right audience!
If you want to sell candles online, let it be known that it is 100% possible.
Whether you want to sell your candles as a hobby and make a few bucks a month or you want to turn it into a full-time career, both options are entirely possible.
If you’re interested, I highly recommend you start with the YouTube videos to make sure candle making is what you envisioned. Reddit also has a great candle making community. Play around with the process to see what you can do. Remember, there are so many types and designs out there, so you will have to pick out a profitable niche.
Once you find the candles that you feel can sell, start locally with your Facebook Marketplace, etc. This can give you an idea as to what people may be interested in. From there, you can then decide if creating your own website/storefront is worth it.
Whichever option you do choose, remember to stay true to your brand and remain committed. Nothing comes easy online, but with the right work ethic, you can flourish, I promise!
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